Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A simple way to reduce health care costs

Next month, Apollo Hospitals, India's biggest health-care company, will for the first time treat employees of a non-Indian company, Wisconsin-based Serigraph Inc., for certain elective procedures.

The costs will be picked up by Serigraph's insurer, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Employees will receive travel and concierge help, including free plane tickets for patient and companion, plus post-operative care upon return to the U.S. There will be no co-payments.

It's a trial program, but the economic benefits aren't in doubt: A cardiac bypass can cost about $100,000 in a U.S. private hospital. Apollo says it can do the procedure -- and accommodate a companion -- for a tenth of the cost.

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